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I have emacs 25.2.2 and installed through M-x list-packages AUCTeX 12.1.1.

Opening any LaTeX file gives the native latex mode, so it seems through C-h m:

LaTeX/P mode defined in ‘tex-mode.el’:  
:override advice: ‘TeX-latex-mode’

Based on that, and the following, I would the say the activation did not go well:

You can detect the successful activation of AUCTeX and preview-latex in the menus after loading a LaTeX file like 'preview/circ.tex': AUCTeX then gives you a 'Command' menu, and preview-latex gives you a 'Preview' menu.

What should I do?

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    The override advice: ‘TeX-latex-mode’ indicates that AUCTeX is properly installed and activated and the LaTeX/P also indicates that you're using AUCTeX rather than the native latex-mode. – Stefan Nov 14 '18 at 21:19
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I suspect that you need to fire it up. Do something like:

(require 'tex-site)

in yr init.el (or .emacs).

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    When installed via package.el, this is not needed nor useful (it even used to cause problems). – Stefan Nov 14 '18 at 21:20
  • Besides comment from @Stefan, loading AUCTeX with (require 'tex-site) was dropped with AUCTeX version 11.81 (released 2005). – Arash Esbati Nov 18 '18 at 20:39

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